Obama Defends US Involvement in Libyan Air Campaign

Published on Tuesday 29th March 2011

U.S. President Barack Obama has accused Libya's leader, Moammar Gadhafi, of "brutal repression" and creating a "looming humanitarian crisis," which he said forced the international community to act.In a nationally-televised address Monday from Washington, the president said Mr. Gadhafi has lost the confidence of his people and the legitimacy to lead.Mr. Obama's speech came 10 days after the Western air campaign against forces loyal to Mr. Gadhafi began. He pointed out that the campaign was authorized by what he called an historic vote in the U.N. Security Council and that NATO is to assume enforcement of the no-fly zone and the protection of the Libyan people. The president repeated his pledge that the U.S. role would be limited, and no U.S. ground forces would be used.The speech was designed to address the concerns of those in Congress and elsewhere who have criticized Mr. Obama for failing to clarify U.S. goals before involving U.S. forces in the air assault in support of Libyan rebels.  The president's speech comes on the eve of a 35-nation conference in London to discuss the situation in Libya and ways to bring about regime change there.


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